Sources within the Egyptian security services deny allegations that an underground metal wall is being put in place along the border with the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported yesterday that Egypt was building a ten km long iron wall 20 to 30 meters into the ground in order to prevent smuggling between Sinai and the besieged Gaza Strip. The paper cited observers as saying that "mounting American pressure is in part responsible for increasing Egyptian efforts to combat the smugglers."
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared yesterday at the conclusion of talks with President Hosni Mubarak that negotiations between Hamas and Israel over a prisoner exchange have come to a halt and nothing has yet been achieved. An informed source close to the negotiations said that the talks were impeded by Israeli refusal to set free a number of prisoners whom it accuses of manufacturing bombs that killed scores of its citizens.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.